Next generation of rugby greats

Next generation of rugby greats

The next generation of rugby greats has been thrown up in this year’s Under-20 Six Nations. However, this time it is not the rugby legends themselves but the next era taking on the family name. Some call it nepotism, but good genes could well be the scientific answer. Nevertheless, the pressure to live up to the family name will simply make or break these young kids.

Murray Redpath – Son of Bryan Redpath/brother of Cam Redpath

Following in the footsteps of his father, Murray Redpath is a diminutive scrum-half with an eye for a break. An impressive opening performance against Ireland confirms the hype is real, as another Redpath will certainly be entering the pro rugby game. Bryan Redpath won 60 caps for Scotland, playing in three Rugby World Cups – not a bad mentor to have! Cameron was the most recent Redpath to play for his country, with his only cap coming at Twickenham in the Calcutta Cup victory. After his recent ACL injury Cameron’s development has stalled but at 21, when fit he will be a mainstay in the midfield for both Bath and Scotland.

Sean Lineen, the Scotland Under-20 head coach, has already claimed that Murray Redpath is ready to follow in the family’s footsteps. Currently, at Newcastle University, Murray will be looking to have an impressive campaign to force his way into a Premiership contract and follow in a similar path to his big brother Cam; sparking a new generation of rugby greats named Redpath.

Theo Ntamack – Son of Émile Ntamack/brother of Romain Ntamack

The Ntamack name is one of the most famous in French rugby history. Émile Ntamack won 46 caps for France and won two Heineken Cups for Toulouse. He has also been in the role of backs coach for the international French team. Amazingly Romain at 22 has achieved half of this already with one European Cup and 20 caps for France. Many argue Romain Ntamack is the best fly-half in the world on his day.

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Theo Ntamack, however, is completely different from his father and brother as he plays in the back row. As a big strong ball carrier who can also play at lock, he will hope his versatility can help accelerate his professional career. Having shone in the youth ranks with Toulouse he will again be looking for a strong campaign to force his way into the star-studded Toulouse team. If the garden chemistry is as good with Romain as it is on the pitch, the future is bright. The new generation of rugby greats in the Ntamack family will certainly live on.

Nathan Doak – Son of Neil Doak

All Ulster fans will certainly know of the name Doak. Neil Doak has been attack coach at Ulster, Worcester and Georgia. In fact, plenty of Ulster players reckon he was Ulster’s best coach in recent years. A man of pure rugby knowledge, his playing career was not too bad either playing 85 times for Ulster.  He wasn’t a bad cricketer either.

Nathan has already made his senior Ulster debut and has been tipped as the next Ruan Pienaar. He was the main man in taking Wallace to the Ulster Schools Cup Final; there is no doubt the future is bright for the 19-year-old. As a composed scrum-half, he is equally as comfortable at fly-half. He will look to become a mainstay in this Irish side after missing the first game. He is also a talented goal kicker, it all sounds very familiar to Ulster fans…

Christian Townsend – Son of Gregor Townsend

When your dad is engraved in both Scotland and Lions history, as a player and as a coach, it is a lot to live up to. Gregor Townsend played 82 times for Scotland and was part of the famous Lions Tour to South Africa in 1997. Townsend is now Scotland head coach and is away on the coaching staff with Warren Gatland for this year’s British and Irish Lions tour.

There are no surprises that Christian is also a stand-off and will hope to take as much advice off his dad as possible. He will look to lock down a half-back pairing with Murray Redpath, a rebirth of a combination Scotland once had. Only sport offers up these fairy tale stories.

James Humphreys – Son of David Humphreys

Like Gregor, David Humphreys had an incredible playing career at both international and club level for Ulster and Ireland. Again, he is a fly-half who is building an impressive coaching CV with success at both Ulster and Gloucester. Hence, his son has the perfect mentor to learn off. James came through originally at Gloucester but recently moved across the Irish sea to join Ulster in their Sub-Academy. Although it is the reverse journey of his father, James currently studies at Queens University Belfast and it is no doubt he will look to make that Irish 10 shirt his own. A future senior career in Ulster awaits.

James started at fly-half in the opening game against Scotland. However, he went off early with a head injury. An intelligent player who is known for his accurate boot, he will look to mold his game around the 72 capped former Irish 10.

Alessandro Garbisi, younger brother of Pablo, will also be looking to stake a claim to join his brother as a leading light for Italy. As will Dan Lancaster, son of Leinster coach Stuart. All these players only have a very short window to prove themselves at U20 level. However, having a familiar name in the setup will only go in their favour if they deliver on the pitch. Sport can be a cruel game.

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